My better angel, my necessary,
my made or my born, my homunculus,
dwarf star, burning-ship swimmer,
my opal and orb, my one truth
abandoning or abandoned,
long oxbow and pest,
my socket and thread, locus
and shift, my betrayed
and betraying, my thief
at the window, broken
my bottle, my child gone hungry,
room laced with cyanide,
my uniform service,
the part that gives, fork
in the vein, my torture,
outward-turned arabesque,
inward my amulet, lava-made
and oceanic, one drop
but from who, my here
and my never, my there
and always, binary, the poles,
my Moses basket, reed-lain,
cave-ridden, discovery made
partly from belief, my practice,
my made bed, nothing-to-undo,
ferry stop, mind-the-doors,
my folded sheets, my cotton,
my cumin, roomy capillary
beneath the eye, my blood-borne
contagion, chronic and blessed,
my twin and redeemer,
my past which makes me
and my unmaking, teacher
and taught, my sonnet-
in-a-foreign, tongue
in the waterfall, my dirt
on the nail, my sent-by-post,
returned, no-such-
number, my meal-ready-
to-eat, first mine the foot
on the throat, last mine
to open, an earthen,
arguing slumber,
my rumor and rust.

The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Access one piece of artwork every month for free! To experience the full archive, log in or subscribe.

Related Poetry

The Visitation


Roger Williams

After Rublev’s Trinity


Carrie Purcell Kahler

The Shadow-Cross


Amit Majmudar

Just Time


Li-Young Lee

Pin It on Pinterest